The launch of the ATLAS-Leiden Manifesto: Think Language First

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Croatia was represented at the launch of the “ATLAS-Leiden Manifesto: Think Language First” at the House of Lords on January 30, 2024, sponsored by The Right Hon Lord Paul Boateng.

Taking part in the panel were Dr. Lana Peto-Kujundžić, President of the Council for juveniles at the High Criminal Court of the Republic of Croatia, as well as Justice Renate Winter, President of the UN Committee of the Rights of the Child.

The event was organized by the leader of the ATLAS initiative, Prof Maria Arche from the University of Greenwich, and supported by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. Prof Arche’s ATLAS colleague, Dr. Alexandra Perovic from University College London, chaired the panel whose speakers addressed the crucial topic of language skills as the gateway to lifelong well-being and educational attainment.

The event was attended by parliamentarians, politicians, and leaders of professional bodies and organizations from across Europe. Among the invited attendees were Ms. Loreta Bertoša-Kušen, Minister Plenipotentiary, from the Embassy of Croatia, and Dr. Gordana Hržica, from the Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Zagreb.

Dr. Hržica is a collaborator of Dr. Perovic and the Croatian lead on a research grant funded by the European Cooperation of Science and Technology, COST Action CA22139: “Justice to youth language needs: Human rights undermined by an invisible disadvantage,” led by Prof Arche, whose members also include Dr. Perovic and Dr. Peto-Kujundžić. The very first meeting of the Action is being organized by Dr. Hržica and her team in Zagreb in May 2024.